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Screw Your New Year's Resolution — Shift Your Focus

2016 ends in 27 days.

Yep, you've got less than a month to do all the things you said you were going to do in 2016.

Quickly audit the past year of your life. Did you get to do everything you wanted to do? What about all those New Year's Resolutions you set for yourself? How did those go?

In case you forgot (or chose to block out what actually happened), here's how this usually goes down:

  • You set your goal on December 31/January 1
  • You're really motivated on January 1 to make sure you stick with it
  • 1 week of commitment passes by, and you mess up on your New Year's Resolution
  • You get discouraged, and instead of sticking with it, you quit all together and tell yourself that you can try again next year 

Out of everyone that made New Year's Resolutions in 2015, only 8% stuck with their goals. 

Why is that?

The reasons vary from person to person, but generally speaking, the biggest contributing factor to our failure is that we tend to set bigger goals for ourselves than we can actually handle.

Saying you'll climb Mount Everest in 2017 is a bit irrelevant if you haven't even tried to go up Mount Scott in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge (what many commonly refer to as Lazy Man's Mountain.)

Our New Year's Resolution(s) tend to be things that we can't actually achieve without setting ourselves up for success. It's cool to say you've got this entire super long list of big things planned for 2017, but if you don't have anything done by the end of the year, then it was most likely pretty pointless.

We should get one thing straight though: I'm not saying that you shouldn't dream big or have really great goals -- in fact, it's the complete opposite.

I think you should. 

But the difference in whether or not you achieve your big goals all comes down to how you set them up. Want to set yourself up for success?



Focus on Smaller, More Actionable Goals fIRST

I believe in this 110%. Big goals are great and all, but you've got to set yourself up for success by doing the little steps first. Start by writing down actionable goals that you can accomplish every day or week to lead up to your bigger goals, and make sure that you actually do them

If you think about it this way, power lifters didn't starting bench-pressing 300+ pounds at the gym. They worked their way up by setting actionable goals to get there. If your goal is money, *most* people don't say they're going to become millionaires one year and then just become millionaires (but I say that lightly). You get your first $100,000, then $250,000, $500,000... you get the point.

Whenever I told my dad about my aspirations while I was a kid, he told me the same (oddly morbid) thing:

If you want to eat an elephant, you have to start with small bites.
— Dad

Which was a slightly mistranslated version of the real quote, by a former U.S. Army General, who said:

When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time.
— Creighton Abraham

The bottom line is this: commit yourself to accomplishing smaller, more actionable goals every so often, and they'll continue to build off of each other to help you achieve whatever bigger goals that you have. 

And finally, one last thing:

There's no better time than now

I would hope that anyone reading finds massive success with the goals that they set for themselves in 2017, but the fact of the matter is, you don't have to wait for a whole new year to pass to set new goals.

There's no point in telling yourself that you'll start next year, or that things will change come January 1. This life is simply what you make it, and how you manage your own time will you tell you a lot about whether or not you really want to achieve your goals.

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
— Confucius

January 1 is coming quick, but why wait to take action on your goals? 

2017 is yours for the taking.

Get to work - early.

Do good today.

Matt Varughese (InstagramTwitter)
Founder + Business Director, @Websterpeace